What Causes Red Bloodshot Eyes?
We have all at some point experienced red bloodshot eyes in our life. The term red eye or bloodshot eyes are non-specific terms used to describe the appearance of the eyes. The condition might appear in one or both eyes.
Bloodshot eyes might be a major concern when you see your eyes through the mirror with most people believing it is something more serious or just an infection. While there are serious conditions that can cause red eye, most of the cases are minor.
Red bloodshot eyes are eyes that have usually been irritated by any external or internal factor causing them to appear red in appearance.The severity of the redness might range from bright red across the sclera to just a few red lines or spots that have been scattered around the white eye.
There are a variety of causes to the red shot eyes. The most common causes of red eyes are usually minor problems like the bursting of the vessels or conjunctivitis a condition that usually gets better with time.
Here are some of the common causes of red bloodshot eyes:
Also known as the pink eye, conjunctivitis is a very common contagious eye infection that takes place in the conjunctiva making the eye look pink or red. The conjunctiva is the thin layer of tissues that cover the inner surfaces of the eyelids and the eyeball. The infection causes swelling and inflammation making the blood vessels of the eye to swell leading to the red eye appearance. Conjunctivitis might be caused by allergies like pollen grains entering the eye.
Burst Blood Vessels In The Eye
Your blood vessels can burst on the surface of the eye due to straining, injuries or coughing. The appearance of a bright red blotch is usually caused by blood vessels that have burst, and this is what we call sub-conjunctival hemorrhage. The bloodshot usually appears alarming and gets worse when you take medications like warfarin and aspirin that prevent the blood from clotting.
Also known as anterior uveitis, this is the inflammation of the iris-the colored part of your eye. This condition has other symptoms apart from the red eye with most people suffering from blurred vision, headache, and sensitivity to light. There is no clear cause for iritis with most people attributing it to immune systems, infections, and other underlying causes. However, the condition is easily treatable responding fast to steroidal medications that prevent inflammations.
This is a condition caused by a sudden increase in pressure inside the eye. The condition is usually characterized by the appearance of sudden painful bright red eyes. Most people feel sick and see halos around lights with their vision becoming blurred and cloudy.
This is experiencing ulcers on the cornea part of the eye. The condition is caused by a bacterial infection making the eye red and sensitive to light. The corneal ulcers are usually common in people who wear contact lenses and those that suffer from frequent cold sores.
Scratches To The Cornea Or Particles In The Eye
Now, this is another common but less serious cause where any scratch to the eye or particles in the eye make the eye appear red. If a piece of grit enters your eye, you will experience red eyes and pain possibly requiring a visit to an optician.
Smoking And Other Environmental Hazards
The tobacco in smoke is known to contain eye irritants that make the eye feel itchy, dry and red. Dust in the air and excessive sun can also make the eyes turn red.
Lack Of Sleep
Not sleeping enough can easily make your eyes turn red with the condition worsening when you rub them.
You’ve probably experienced red eyes after swimming. This occurs when you open your eyes underwater while swimming. The chlorinated pool of water washes your eyes making them turn red. If swimming in lakes or seas, the bacteria in the lakes can also irritate the eyes and make them turn red.
Computer Vision Syndrome
Burning sensation, red eyes, and tired eyes can be caused by staring at your computer for long periods. We usually blink less when working on a computer screen. This dries out the surface of our eyes leading to the red eye conditions.
Hormonal changes during pregnancy can affect your eyes in so many ways. Some mothers experience itchy, dry and sensitive eyes with the shape of the cornea altered. You can develop intolerance to contact lenses and experience blurred vision. However, these symptoms are temporary and resolve with time after childbirth.
Signs And Symptoms Associated With Red Eyes
Depending on the exact underlying causes of red eyes, the red eye condition might be accompanied by the following signs and symptoms:
- Watery eyes
- Itchy eyes
- Burning sensation in the eyes
- Swollen eyelids
- Foreign body sensation
- A thick or watery discharge from the eyes
- Light sensitivity (photophobia)
- Scaling or crusting of the eyelids (dermatitis)
- Falling eyelashes
Natural Treatment For Red Eye Conditions
It is necessary to see a doctor if the red eyes are accompanied by other serious conditions like impaired vision, significant pain, head trauma, chemical injury or anything you think is serious and cannot be treated at home. However, most of the bloodshot eye cases can easily be prevented and treated naturally without seeing a doctor.
Here are some of the natural ways to reduce the redness of the eyes.
Spooning The Eyes
Spooning the eyes is a very simple home remedy used to reduce the temperature in the eyes. Since most of the red eye condition is caused by constricting of the blood vessels, relaxing the eyes can help reduce it. You can use four metal spoons to relax they eyes. Take the four metal spoons and put them in ice water to make them cold. Once the first pair of the spoon is cold (not frozen), place it on your eyelid with the concave side facing downwards.
Lay back and relax as the spoons reduce your eye temperature. You can change the spoons for the second pair when they get warm until the pain in the eye eases, and the redness reduces. You can also relax the eyes by splashing ice on the face and the surface of the eyes when they are closed for a few minutes.
Use Chamomile To Rinse The Eyes
Make a mixture of one teaspoon chamomile dried flowers with a cup of boiling water. Steep if for a few minutes, strain and allow it to cool before using the mixture to rinse your eyes.
Cucumber slices is a common natural remedy used to reduce eye inflammation and irritations. Cut pieces of cucumber and place them in cold water for a few minutes before placing them on the surface of your closed eyes for ten minutes. The powerful flavonoids and antioxidants in the cucumber help reduce the inflammation and the irritation.
Use Tea Bags
Tea bags can be used to reduce the inflammation of the eyes. Place a moistened tea bag on the affected eye to help reduce the redness. Tea contains bioflavonoids that help fight the bacterial and viral infection in the eyes. The tannic acid in the tea also helps with the itching by soothing the eye. You can also wash your eyes with a weak solution of the tea.
Drink Plenty Of Water
Some of the symptoms of bloodshot might be caused by dry eyes. The best way to treat such a condition is by rehydrating your eyes. You can do this by drinking a lot of water.
Use Witch Hazel
Witch hazel has been used to help reduce the swelling and inflammation of the eyes. You can soak your cotton pads or gauze pads with witch hazel and compress it over the eyes. Witch hazel contains astringent properties that help reduce the swelling of the eyes.
Aloe Vera Juice
Aloe Vera juice is very soothing to the eyes and can be used to cleanse the eyes. With a clean piece of clothing, place this mixture on your eyes. You can always dilute the Aloe Vera by mixing it with a little bit of cold water.
Administer a drop of castor oil from a clean dropper into both eyes before heading to bed. The castor oil helps reduce the dryness of the eyes by improving the production of lipids and preventing the evaporation of tears.
Castor oil has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce the swelling in the eye. When the oil is applied, one might experience some clouded vision for a few minutes, but this eventually goes away.
There are several other remedies that can be used to sooth the eyes while killing the bacteria inside. Other common remedies include the use of
- Honey and milk
- Apple cider vinegar
- Rose water
- Artificial tears
- Cold bread
You can always consult your doctor if the symptoms do not stop and get worse with each treatment. Your doctor should be able to advise you on the next steps to take or administer the right medication to help with the problem.
Top Products To Treat Red Bloodshot Eyes
Some of the top products available in the market for red eyes include:
- Optrex bloodshot eye drop
- Murine bright and moist eyes
- Brightening eye drops
- Optrex eyeden sparkling
- Regard Lagon 2
- Similisan pink eye bottle
- Vizulize eye brightening drops
There exists many products in the market with most of them acting the same way. Always consult your doctor before using any of them.
Causes And Treatments Of Red Bloodshot Eyes Red Bloodshot Eyes Summary
Red eyes or bloodshot is a common condition that we have all experienced in life. It can be easily treated at home using the simple remedies discussed above with only serious cases been referred to the doctor. However, never ignore any bloodshot condition especially if it keeps coming back.
Bloodshot caused by injuries must be reported to the doctor immediately as they might affect some part of the eyes.